Better than the Monday paper: The logical reasons why Bordick, Alomar and Raffy aren’t Orioles HOF’ers

March 21, 2011 | Drew Forrester

to come close to matching the accomplishments of those four, shouldn’t you at least have to brush up against greatness for an extended period of time while you’re wearing the orange and black?

I certainly understand there’s a difference between retiring a player’s number and putting him in the team’s Hall of Fame. But it’s still called the “Hall of Fame” and that makes it the most distinctive post-career award a player can receive in Baltimore.

At this point, I can think of only one slam dunk – personally – for the team’s Hall of Fame that isn’t already in there.

His name is Mike Mussina.

That Mussina ISN’T in and Mike Bordick will be in 2011 is just outrageously wrong.

I suppose Melvin Mora will get in someday and I’ll be OK with that, because his CAREER in Baltimore was more honor-worthy than Bordick and Alomar, but I don’t see many other names on the horizon that I’d check off on. And if I’m drinking the orange truth serum, Mora probably gets the sympathy vote more than the logical vote. That he stuck around throughout the decade of despair and busted his hump on and off the field is the main reason I’d vote him in.  But, honestly, ON the field, Mora was never a great Oriole.  He was a good one, mostly, and a GREAT ambassador for the organization.  I guess Brian Roberts is a logical candidate when his days are done, but he admitted to steroid use while in Baltimore, so I’d have to spend some hard time at the reasoning table before I’d give him my vote.

If Mike Mussina isn’t an Orioles Hall of Famer, then they should just discontinue the process.

In all fairness, the Hall of Fame for most sports teams is nothing more than a chance to sell a sponsor something to attach their name to and then try and parlay that into a day of ticket sales when the honorary player returns for his day in the sun.

But if these “Halls” are supposed to mean “the best of the best”, they have to include the players who made the most impact over a significant period of time.

In Bordick’s case, six years is plenty of time.  But he was basically a good player in Baltimore.  He never approached great. Then again, Hoiles wasn’t really all that “great” and, frankly, B.J. Surhoff was a very good player who had a few very good years in Charm City.  I’m not anti-Mike Bordick.  I’m anti letting guys in who didn’t really achieve greatness for an extended period of time.

Alomar played 412 games in Baltimore, with his full energy and focus on display in about 300 of them.  And in one of those 412 games, he committed the ultimate in-game sin when he spit on John Hirschbeck.  That body of work isn’t “great enough” for me.  In all honesty, Alomar is the EASIEST one of the three for me to turn away for the Orioles HOF because he only played three seasons at Camden Yards and two of those were great and one was a half-a-tank-job.

And Palmeiro’s Baltimore career was Hall of Fame worthy, but not after his positive steroid test.  You can’t have that plaque and that memory on display as part of the team’s heritage-of-greatness.  You just can’t. And it’s all made whole by the fact that he actually tested positive. If he admits to it or is somehow caught in the early part of the 2000′s when there wasn’t testing, that’s one thing. Baseball was testing players for steroids in 2005 and Palmeiro got popped. Can’t be in the team’s Hall of Fame with that albatross around your neck.

You hopefully noted that I made my just-say-no-to-Bordick, Alomar and Palmeiro points without once referencing the Ravens and their “Ring of Honor” concept.

Just because the Ravens have a non-worthy, non-Raven in there doesn’t mean the Orioles should also include players who didn’t achieve greatness while they were in orange and black.

In the Orioles’ case, if they want to include players who were good-to-very-good-to-sometimes-great in their Hall of Fame just to fulfill a sponsor obligation and sell a few extra thousand tickets, that’s fine and dandy.

But if that’s the case, let’s just change the name of the whole thing to the Hall-of-guys-who-were-better-than-most-others.

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